A Glance at Sungevity's Website

Sungevity’s website is a nice resource, with video clips explaining some of what you need to know.

Most every page is straight-forward; I see only a few claims vulnerable to criticism:

The first three screen-grabs below are from the “Why Sungevity” page:
Sungevity solar lease text
Nothing special here.  Call any solar company, and the first thing the person on the phone will do is enter your address in Google Maps, just to see what type roof you have, how shaded it is, etc. So everyone uses satellite imagery. As for this “iQuote” – it’s an estimate. No rational installer will commit in writing to an install-price without an actual site visit. That’s because a proper bid requires, at a minimum, examining the electrical panel to determine its rating, the bus bar rating, available breakers, etc.  
Sungevity solar lease text
Nothing new here, but nicely worded. Expect every solar lease to include a guaranteed performance. Since it’s a guaranteed performance, it will always be less than expected performance. This is a good specific to compare when shopping different solar lease bids.

Sungevity solar lease text
Here in northern California, Diamond-Certified has a reputation as being a fake accomplishment, available to any company willing to pay for it. I’m sure Sungevity has more meaningful accomplishments than this.

NABCEP certification is meaningful, but until recently, it was individuals that were NABCEP certified installers, not companies.  NABCEP is now promoting a company certification, but this brings-up the fact that Sungevity doesn’t actually do the install; they hire other companies to do the roof work.
Sungevity solar lease text
Is this a weakness of Sungevity? It depends who you ask…

Finally, on a different page, Sungevity claims that electricity rates rise 7% a year in California:
Sungevity solar lease text
This statement is NOT TRUE. Sungevity – and other leasing companies – commonly misrepresent PG&E's rate increase history to frighten prospects into committing to solar. My calculations indicate that, over the past 30 years, the typical PG&E customer on the E-1 tariff has expereinced a 3-4% annual rate increase. Not 7%.

Does this mean that solar is not a good deal? Not at all! It DOES mean that homeowners need to pay careful attention to annual price increases built into any lease agreements.


next page: a glance at SunPower's site

Should I Lease a Solar Panel System?
Who Should I Lease From?
Are Some Leasing Companies Better than Others?
Leasing versus Buying
How Much Can I Save if I Lease Solar?
Explain the Different Variables in a Lease
The Escalator Trap
Can I Sell my House, if I have a Solar Lease?
So... Should I Get Solar, Using a Lease?

Quiz: Can you explain this solar lease promotion?
Understanding a Solar Proposal

Assorted Lease Companies' Web Pages:
- BrightGrid
- Solar City
- Solar Universe
- SunCap Financial
- Sungevity
- SunPower
- SunRun
- Vivint Solar

2014 by Bill Fridl. All rights reserved.
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